By: Joe Cardoso
Today it seems like anyone with a cell phone and the right app can be a “rapper’ and the culture is not what it once was. But within these changes, the genre is expanding and all types of people gender, races are dropping music and some with much success. For a golden era hip hop head like me, it will always come down to 3 things lyrics, beats, and message. Now don’t get me wrong I love a good turn up as much as the next guy as well as listening to songs about life in the projects as I get dressed for my full-time job at my house in the suburbs. I consider those types of songs a look inside the window of the artist life and helps me understand better. All in all, I just love hip hop always have always will so when I got an email months ago for a link to a video of a guy spitting in the car I was intrigued. First off was he Latino or? Then I hit play and BOOM the kid had this confidence about him like he had been doing this for years. Switching up his cadence and slick metaphors intertwined, I thought Yo who are you? His name is Ariea Bastami from Plano, Texas And currently one of the most popular nonathlete students at the University of Texas. As someone who is NOT Latino but of middle eastern decent (Persian) with a life long love of hip hop deep in the Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan vibe. Bullied as a child for once being overweight I see none of that on his videos or hear it on any song. With that being said he recently did a song with one of my favorites Logic for the Hit Record Project called“Do What You Love”. If you haven’t seen the process of making that song hit the link and check it out, the best thing you will see all day simply awesome. Off the heels of that Ariea dropped the album Keep Dreaming. 10 tracks deep and a true showcase of an up and comer people better recognize.
Tassels: Love it from the open piano cords to the first verse. If you were to hear him for the first time this track shows off the lyricism and that his message is different then most. 4 out of 5 stars
Paranoid In L.A.: I call this a lay back and chill track. Hop in the car and just let it bump while you cruise. He opens about his fears of becoming famous along with his fear of not making it. In some sort of way we can all relate to feeling this way about life in general 5 out of 5 stars
Identities: Trap music with a southern twist and some fun pointing out how most rappers sound the same. Versatility is key to this game, and he bounces through it with ease. 3 out of 5 stars
City Of Roses: This is my JOINT! It has an NYC subway type of vibe from the best to the verses. He throws so many jabs in 2 minutes, “ I be on my Wibon, pardon the interruption.” If anything I wanted more, and the transition to the next song was flawless. 5 out 5 stars
Keep Dreaming: Once again Ariea opens up about his struggles and fears on a beat that rocks. You can hear the hunger on this one; it’s go big or go home. 4 out of 5 stars
Hoblitzelle Park: You can’t do an album without giving love to where you are from. The beat is silly dope, and he brings the bars while shouting out the home team and letting doubters know he sees you and doesn’t care. 4 out of 5 stars
Mirrors: This might be slept on by most but this track is pretty timely, social media has a lot of people lost. To me tracks like this show that he is more than a dude who raps fast or can battle. 4 out of 5 stars.
Concrete Jungle: We all have fears and doubts; I don’t care what you do or who you are. New artist have this feeling on a whole other level, and that’s what Concrete Jungle is, almost like Ariea is giving himself a pep talk. It’s not a guy begging for fans or for you to like him; instead, he is brutally honest on his feelings. 4 out of 5 stars
Overall Rating 4 out of 5 stars
Ariea Bastami is nice with it, and I will keep following his career as he grows. I suggest anyone looking for an alternative to radio pop hip hop or trap music download Keep Dreaming. This album is an introduction to a man who is on a mission to be a name in the game. You can find his music on all music platforms. Follow his journey through social media as well. Catch him on Twitter as well as Instagram.